5 Reasons to Earn an Associates Degree

Associates DegreeBy: Chris Schmitz- Online Division Director of Admissions

For many people getting a degree is necessary in order to have the type of career or
lifestyle that they have always wanted.  However, many people struggle with choosing the appropriate degree that will help them meet their career goals.  In fact, out of the 68% of high school graduates who attend college immediately following graduation,
only 6% to 10% percent enroll into four year institutions (Department of Labor Statistics).

The Top 5 reasons that students choose an Associate Degree are listed below.

  1. Time – For many students 4-6 years to complete a bachelor’s degree is too long.
    These people are looking for a way to improve their life situation today but do not have the appropriate credentials.  Completing an associate degree in 18 months to 2 years provides a quicker route into their desired career field.
  2. Money – The investment for a college education continues to grow.  Many people
    have chosen to “bite off” a smaller amount to start with by completing an
    associate degree.  This allows students to graduate with a manageable about of debt while also increasing their yearly income by over 8%. (Department of Labor Statistics)
  3. Experience – For students that initially choose to pursue their associate degree, it is a matter of need.  These students may only need an associate degree to achieve their dream job.  For example, many people entering the Criminal Justice field will be able to find a career with an associate degree and experience.
    Many younger college students do not have the experience in the work force to be considered for positions that need a four year degree.  For this segment of people it is more effective to go to school and earn their associate degree. .  Since they have graduated in a shorter amount of time than their peers, they are able to start adding work experience on to their resume.
  4. Tuition Assistance – Earning your associate degree and returning later for your bachelor’s degree can allow you to capitalize on employer tuition assistance or reimbursement.  This can reduce the overall cost of your education by thousands of dollars.
  5. Accomplishment– Everyone wants to experience career and academic success and grow from their accomplishments.  Many people choose an associate degree
    program to experience that feeling of accomplishment in a shorter amount of time.  Graduating in 18-24 months versus 3-6 years can help students to see the “light at the end of the tunnel” throughout their entire education.  In a
    short six months students can know that they are 1/3 of the way done with their
    degree.  Anything in life can be tolerated for short amount of time.  Many
    students establish short, attainable goals by beginning with an associate degree.

Students return to school for a thousand different reasons.  They also choose the degree level that is the best fit for them.  Look for future blog posts where we discuss the benefits of bachelor’s degrees.  Feel free to comment about your experience in choosing a degree; we are interested in sharing and hearing about your experiences.